A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VII (4th edition)
Part 3 out of 11
ANTHONY. O false ambitious pride in young and old!
Hark, how the heavens our follies hath controll'd.
OLD CITIZEN. What, shall we yield for this religious fear?
ANTHONY. If not religious fear, what may repress
These wicked passions, wretched citizens?
O Rome, poor Rome, unmeet for these misdeeds,
I see contempt of heaven will breed a cross.
Sweet Cinna, govern rage with reverence. [_Thunder_.
O fellow-citizens, be more advis'd!
LEPIDUS. We charge you, consuls, now dissolve the court;
The gods condemn this brawl and civil jars.
OCTAVIUS. We will submit our honours to their wills:
You, ancient citizens, come follow me.
[_Exit_ OCTAVIUS; _with him_ ANTHONY _and_ LEPIDUS.
CINNA. High Jove himself hath done too much for thee,
Else should this blade abate thy royalty.
Well, young Italian citizens, take heart,
He is at hand that will maintain your right;
That, entering in these fatal gates of Rome,
Shall make them tremble that disturb you now.
You of Preneste and of Formiae,
With other neighbouring cities in Campania,
Prepare to entertain and succour Marius.
YOUNG CITIZEN. For him we live, for him we mean to die.
_Enter_ OLD MARIUS _with his_ KEEPER _and two_ SOLDIERS.
MARIUS. Have these Minturnians, then, so cruelly
Presum'd so great injustice 'gainst their friends?
JAILER. Ay, Marius, all our nobles have decreed
To send thy head a present unto Rome.
MARIUS. A Tantal's present it will prove, my friend,
Which with a little smarting stress will end
Old Marius' life, when Rome itself at last
Shall rue my loss, and then revenge my death.
But tell me, jailer, could'st thou be content,
In being Marius, for to brook this wrong.
JAILER. The high estate your lordship once did wield,
The many friends that fawn'd, when fortune smil'd,
Your great promotions and your mighty wealth,
These, were I Marius, would amate me so,
As loss of them would vex me more than death.
MARIUS. Is lordship then so great a bliss, my friend?
JAILER. No title may compare with princely rule.
MARIUS. Are friends so faithful pledges of delight?
JAILER. What better comforts than are faithful friends?
MARIUS. Is wealth a mean to lengthen life's content?
JAILER. Where great possessions bide, what care can touch?
MARIUS. These stales of fortune are the common plagues,
That still mislead the thoughts of simple men.
The shepherd-swain that, 'midst his country-cot,
Deludes his broken slumbers by his toil,
Thinks lordship sweet, where care with lordship dwells.
The trustful man that builds on trothless vows,
Whose simple thoughts are cross'd with scornful nays,
Together weeps the loss of wealth and friend:
So lordship, friends, wealth spring and perish fast,
Where death alone yields happy life at last.
O gentle governor of my contents,
Thou sacred chieftain of our capitol,
Who in thy crystal orbs with glorious gleams
Lend'st looks of pity mix'd with majesty,
See woful Marius careful for his son,
Careless of lordship, wealth, or worldly means,
Content to live, yet living still to die:
Whose nerves and veins, whose sinews, by the sword
Must lose their workings through distempering stroke,
But yet whose mind, in spite of fate and all,
Shall live by fame, although the body fall.
JAILER. Why mourneth Marius this recureless chance?
MARIUS. I pray thee, jailer, would'st thou gladly die?
JAILER. If needs, I would.
MARIUS. Yet were you loth to try?
JAILER. Why, noble lord, when goods, friends, fortune fail,
What more than death might woful man avail?
MARIUS. Who calls for death, my friend, for all his scorns?
With Aesop's slave will leave his bush of thorns.
But since these trait'rous lords will have my head,
Their lordships here upon this homely bed
Shall find me sleeping, breathing forth my breath,
Till they their shame, and I my fame, attain by death.
Live, gentle Marius, to revenge my wrong!
And, sirrah, see they stay not over-long;
For he that erst hath conquer'd kingdoms many,
Disdains in death to be subdu'd by any.
[_He lies down_.
_Enter_ LUCIUS FAVORINUS, PAUSANIUS, _with_
PEDRO, _a Frenchman_.
JAILER. The most undaunted words that ever were.
The mighty thoughts of his imperious mind,
Do wound my heart with terror and remorse.
PAUSANIUS. 'Tis desperate, not perfect nobleness:
For to a man that is prepar'd to die,
The heart should rend, the sleep should leave the eye.
But say, Pedro, will you do the deed?
PEDRO. Mon monsieurs, per la sang Dieu, me will make a trou so
large in ce belly, dat he sal cry hough, come un porceau. Featre de
lay, il a tue me fadre, he kill my modre. Faith a my trote mon espee
fera le fay dun soldat, sau sau. Ieievera come il founta pary: me will
make a spitch-cock of his persona.
L. FAVORINUS. If he have slain thy father and thy friends,
The greater honour shall betide the deed;
For to revenge on righteous estimate
Beseems the honour of a Frenchman's name.
PEDRO. Mes messiers, de fault avoir argent; me no point de argent, no
point kill Marius.
PAUSANIUS. Thou shalt have forty crowns; will that content thee?
PEDRO. Quarante escus, per le pied de madam, me give more dan foure to
se prittie damosele, dat have le dulces tittinos, le levres Cymbrines.
O, they be fines!
L. FAVORINUS. Great is the hire, and little is the pain;
Make therefore quick despatch, and look for gain.
See where he lies in drawing on his death,
Whose eyes, in gentle slumber sealed up,
Present no dreadful visions to his heart.
PEDRO. Bien, monsieur, je demourera content: Marius, tu es mort. Speak
dy preres in dy sleepe, for me sal cut off your head from your epaules,
before you wake. Qui es stia? what kinde a man be dis?
L. FAVORINUS. Why, what delays are these? why gaze ye thus?
PEDRO. Nostre dame! Jesu! estiene! O my siniors, der be a great diable
in ce eyes, qui dart de flame, and with de voice d'un bear cries out,
Villain! dare you kill Marius? Je tremble: aida me, siniors, autrement
I shall be murdered.
PAUSANIUS. What sudden madness daunts this stranger thus?
PEDRO. O me, no can kill Marius; me no dare kill Marius! adieu,
messieurs, me be dead, si je touche Marius. Marius est un diable.
Jesu Maria, sava moy!
PAUSANIUS. What fury haunts this wretch on sudden thus?
L. FAVORINUS. Ah, my Pausanius, I have often heard,
That yonder Marius in his infancy
Was born to greater fortunes than we deem:
For, being scarce from out his cradle crept,
And sporting prettily with his compeers,
On sudden seven young eagles soar'd amain,
And kindly perch'd upon his tender lap.
His parents, wondering at this strange event,
Took counsel of the soothsayers in this;
Who told them that these sevenfold eagles' flight
Forefigured his seven times consulship:
And we ourselves (except bewitch'd with pride)
Have seen him six times in the capitol,
Accompanied with rods and axes too.
And some divine instinct so presseth me,
That sore I tremble, till I set him free.
PAUSANIUS. The like assaults attain my wand'ring mind,
Seeing our bootless war with matchless fate.
Let us entreat him to forsake our town;
So shall we gain a friend of Rome and him.
But mark how happily he doth awake.
MARIUS. What, breathe I yet, poor man, with mounting sighs,
Choking the rivers of my restless eyes?
Or is their rage restrain'd with matchless ruth?
See how amaz'd these angry lords behold
The poor, confused looks of wretched Marius.
Minturnians, why delays your headsman thus
To finish up this ruthful tragedy?
L. FAVORINUS. Far be it, Marius, from our thoughts or hands
To wrong the man protected by the gods:
Live happy, Marius, so thou leave our town.
MARIUS. And must I wrestle once again with fate,
Or will these princes dally with mine age?
PAUSANIUS. No, matchless Roman; thine approved mind,
That erst hath alter'd our ambitious wrong,
Must flourish still, and we thy servants live
To see thy glories, like the swelling tides,
Exceed the bounds of fate and Roman rule.
Yet leave us, lord, and seek some safer shed,
Where, more secure, thou may'st prevent mishaps;
For great pursuits and troubles thee await.
MARIUS. Ye piteous powers, that with successful hopes
And gentle counsels thwart my deep despairs,
Old Marius to your mercies recommends
His hap, his life, his hazard, and his son.
Minturnians, I will hence, and you shall fly
Occasions of those troubles you expect.
Dream not on dangers, that have sav'd my life.
Lordings, adieu: from walls to woods I wend;
To hills, dales, rocks, my wrong for to commend.
L. FAVORINUS. Fortune, vouchsafe his many woes to end.
_Enter_ SYLLA _in triumph in his chair triumphant of gold,
drawn by four Moors; before the chariot, his colours, his crest,
his captains, his prisoners_: ARCATHIUS, _Mithridates' son_;
ARISTION, ARCHELAUS, _bearing crowns of gold, and manacled. After
the chariot, his soldier's bands_; BASILLUS, LUCRETIUS, LUCULLUS,
_besides prisoners of divers nations and sundry disguises_.
SYLLA. You men of Rome, my fellow-mates in arms,
Whose three years' prowess, policy, and war,
One hundred threescore thousand men at arms
Hath overthrown and murder'd in the field;
Whose valours to the empire have restor'd
All Grecia, Asia, and Ionia,
With Macedonia, subject to our foe,
You see the froward customs of our state
Who, measuring not our many toils abroad,
Sit in their cells, imagining our harms:
Replenishing our Roman friends with fear.
Yea, Sylla, worthy friends, whose fortunes, toils,
And stratagems these strangers may report,
Is by false Cinna and his factious friends
Revil'd, condemn'd, and cross'd without a cause:
Yea, Romans, Marius must return to Rome,
Of purpose to upbraid your general.
But this undaunted mind that never droop'd;
This forward body, form'd to suffer toil,
Shall haste to Rome, where every foe shall rue
The rash disgrace both of myself and you.
LUCRETIUS. And may it be that those seditious brains
Imagine these presumptuous purposes?
SYLLA. And may it be? Why, man, and wilt thou doubt,
Where Sylla deigns these dangers to aver?
Sirrah, except not so, misdoubt not so:
See here Aneparius' letters, read the lines,
And say, Lucretius, that I favour thee,
That darest but suspect thy general.
[_Read the letters and deliver them_.
LUCRETIUS. The case conceal'd hath mov'd the more misdoubt;
Yet pardon my presumptions, worthy Sylla,
That to my grief have read these hideous harms.
SYLLA. Tut, my Lucretius, fortune's ball is toss'd
To form the story of my fatal power:
Rome shall repent; babe, mother, shall repent:
Air, weeping cloudy sorrows, shall repent:
Wind, breathing many sorrows, shall repent--
To see those storms, concealed in my breast,
Reflect the hideous flames of their unrest.
But words are vain, and cannot quell our wrongs:
Brief periods serve for them that needs must post it.
Lucullus, since occasion calls me hence,
And all our Roman senate think it meet,
That thou pursue the wars I have begun,
As by their letters I am certified,
I leave thee Cymbria's legions to conduct,
With this proviso that, in ruling still,
You think on Sylla and his courtesies.
LUCULLUS. The weighty charge of this continued war,
Though strange it seem, and over-great to wield,
I will accept, if so the army please.
SOLDIERS. Happy and fortunate be Lucullus our general.
SYLLA. If he be Sylla's friend, else not at all:
For otherwise the man were ill-bested,
That gaining glories straight should lose his head.
But, soldiers, since I needly must to Rome,
Basillus' virtues shall have recompense.
Lo, here the wreath, Valerius, for thy pains,
Who first didst enter Archilaus' trench:
This pledge of virtue, sirrah, shall approve
Thy virtues, and confirm me in thy love.
BASILLUS. Happy be Sylla, if no foe to Rome.
SYLLA. I like no ifs from such a simple groom.
I will be happy in despite of state.
And why? because I never feared fate.
But come, Arcathius, for your father's sake:
Enjoin your fellow-princes to their tasks,
And help to succour these my weary bones.
Tut, blush not, man, a greater state than thou
Shall pleasure Sylla in more baser sort.
Aristion is a jolly-timber'd man,
Fit to conduct the chariot of a king:
Why, be not squeamish, for it shall go hard,
But I will give you all a great reward.
ARCATHIUS. Humbled by fate, like wretched men we yield.
SYLLA. Arcathius, these are fortunes of the field.
Believe me, these brave captives draw by art,
And I will think upon their good desert.
But stay you, strangers, and respect my words.
Fond heartless men, what folly have I seen!
For fear of death can princes entertain
Such bastard thoughts, that now from glorious arms
Vouchsafe to draw like oxen in a plough?
Arcathius, I am sure Mithridates
Will hardly brook the scandal of his name:
'Twere better in Pisae to have died,
Aristion, than amidst our legions thus to draw.
ARISTION. I tell thee, Sylla, captives have no choice,
And death is dreadful to a captive man.
SYLLA. In such imperfect mettles as is yours:
But Romans, that are still allur'd by fame,
Choose rather death than blemish of their name.
But I have haste, and therefore will reward you.
Go, soldiers, with as quick despatch as may be,
Hasten their death, and bring them to their end,
And say in this that Sylla is your friend.
ARCATHIUS. O, ransom thou our lives, sweet conqueror!
SYLLA. Fie, foolish men, why fly you happiness?
Desire you still to lead a servile life?
Dare you not buy delights with little pains?
Well, for thy father's sake, Arcathius,
I will prefer thy triumphs with the rest.
Go, take them hence, and when we meet in hell,
Then tell me, princes, if I did not well.
Lucullus, thus these mighty foes are down,
Now strive thou for the King of Pontus' crown.
I will to Rome; go thou, and with thy train
Pursue Mithridates, till he be slain.
LUCULLUS. With fortune's help: go calm thy country's woes,
Whilst I with these seek out our mighty foes.
_Enter MARIUS solus, from the Numidian mountains,
feeding on roots_.
MARIUS. Thou, that hast walk'd with troops of flocking friends,
Now wand'rest 'midst the labyrinth of woes;
Thy best repast with many sighing ends,
And none but fortune all these mischiefs knows.
Like to these stretching mountains, clad with snow,
No sunshine of content my thoughts approacheth:
High spire their tops, my hopes no height do know,
But mount so high as time their tract reproacheth.
They find their spring, where winter wrongs my mind,
They weep their brooks, I waste my cheeks with tears.
O foolish fate, too froward and unkind,
Mountains have peace, where mournful be my years.
Yet high as they my thoughts some hopes would borrow;
But when I count the evening end with sorrow.
Death in Minturnum threaten'd Marius' head,
Hunger in these Numidian mountains dwells:
Thus with prevention having mischief fled,
Old Marius finds a world of many hells,
Such as poor simple wits have oft repin'd;
But I will quell, by virtues of the mind,
Long years misspent in many luckless chances,
Thoughts full of wrath, yet little worth succeeding,
These are the means for those whom fate advances:
But I, whose wounds are fresh, my heart still bleeding,
Live to entreat this blessed boon from fate,
That I might die with grief to live in state.
Six hundred suns with solitary walks
I still have sought for to delude my pain,
And friendly echo, answering to my talks,
Rebounds the accent of my ruth again:
She, courteous nymph, the woful Roman pleaseth,
Else no consorts but beasts my pains appeaseth.
Each day she answers in yon neighbouring mountain,
I do expect, reporting of my sorrow,
Whilst lifting up her locks from out the fountain,
She answereth to my questions even and morrow:
Whose sweet rebounds, my sorrow to remove,
To please my thoughts I mean for to approve.
Sweet nymph, draw near, thou kind and gentle echo,
What help to ease my weary pains have I?
What comfort in distress to calm my griefs?
Sweet nymph, these griefs are grown, before I thought so.
_I thought so_.
Thus Marius lives disdain'd of all the gods.
With deep despair late overtaken wholly.
And will the heavens be never well appeased?
What mean have they left me to cure my smart?
Nought better fits old Marius' mind than war.
Then full of hope, say, Echo, shall I go?
Is any better fortune then at hand?
Then farewell, Echo, gentle nymph, farewell.
O pleasing folly to a pensive man!
Well, I will rest fast by this shady tree,
Waiting the end that fate allotteth me.
_Enter_ MARIUS _the son_, ALBINOVANUS, CETHEGUS,
LECTORIUS, _with Soldiers_.
YOUNG MARIUS. My countrymen, and favourites of Rome,
This melancholy desert where we meet,
Resembleth well young Marius' restless thoughts.
Here dreadful silence, solitary caves,
No chirping birds with solace singing sweetly,
Are harbour'd for delight; but from the oak,
Leafless and sapless through decaying age,
The screech-owl chants her fatal-boding lays.
Within my breast care, danger, sorrow dwell;
Hope and revenge sit hammering in my heart:
The baleful babes of angry Nemesis
Disperse their furious fires upon my soul.
LECTORIUS. Fie, Marius, are you discontented still,
When as occasion favoureth your desire!
Are not these noble Romans come from Rome?
Hath not the state recall'd your father home?
YOUNG MARIUS. And what of this? What profit may I reap,
That want my father to conduct us home?
LECTORIUS. My lord, take heart; no doubt this stormy flaw,
That Neptune sent to cast us on this shore,
Shall end these discontentments at the last.
MARIUS. Whom see mine eyes? What, is not yon my son?
YOUNG MARIUS. What solitary father walketh there?
MARIUS. It is my son! these are my friends I see.
What, have sore-pining cares so changed me?
Or are my looks distemper'd through the pains
And agonies that issue from my heart?
Fie, Marius! frolic, man! thou must to Rome,
There to revenge thy wrongs, and wait thy tomb.
YOUNG MARIUS. Now, fortune, frown and palter if thou please.
Romans, behold my father and your friend.
MARIUS. Marius, thou art fitly met.
Albinovanus, and my other friends,
What news at Rome? What fortune brought you hither?
ALBINOVANUS. My lord, the Consul Cinna hath restor'd
The doubtful course of your betrayed state,
And waits your present swift approach to Rome,
Your foeman Sylla posteth very fast
With good success from Pontus, to prevent
Your speedy entrance into Italy.
The neighbouring cities are your very friends;
Nought rests, my lord, but you depart from hence.
YOUNG MARIUS. How many desert ways hath Marius sought,
How many cities have I visited!
To find my father, and relieve his wants!
MARIUS. My son, I 'quite thy travails with my love.
And, lords and citizens, we will to Rome,
And join with Cinna. Have you shipping here?
What, are these soldiers bent to die with me?
SOLDIERS. Content to pledge our lives for Marius.
LECTORIUS. My lord, here, in the next adjoining port,
Our ships are rigg'd, and ready for to sail.
MARIUS. Then let us sail unto Etruria,
And cause our friends, the Germans, to revolt,
And get some Tuscans to increase our power.
Deserts, farewell! Come, Romans, let us go--
A scourge for Rome, that hath depress'd us so.
ACTUS QUARTUS, SCENA PRIMA.
_Enter_ MARK ANTHONY, LEPIDUS, OCTAVIUS, FLACCUS, _Senators_.
OCTAVIUS. What helps, my lords, to overhale these cares?
What means or motions may these mischiefs end?
You see how Cinna, that should succour Rome
Hath levied arms to bring a traitor in.
O worthless traitor, woe to thine and thee,
That thus disquieteth both Rome and us?
ANTHONY. Octavius, these are scourges for our sins;
These are but ministers to heap our plague.
These mutinies are gentle means and ways,
Whereby the heavens our heavy errors charm.
Then with content and humbled eyes behold
The crystal shining globe of glorious Jove;
And, since we perish through our own misdeeds,
Go let us flourish in our fruitful prayers.
LEPIDUS. 'Midst these confusions, mighty men of Rome,
Why waste we out these troubles all in words?
Weep not your harms, but wend we straight to arms,
Lo, Ostia spoil'd, see Marius at our gate!
And shall we die like milksops, dreaming thus?
OCTAVIUS. A bootless war to see our country spoil'd.
LEPIDUS. Fruitless is dalliance, whereas dangers be.
ANTHONY. My lord, may courage wait on conquer'd men?
LEPIDUS. Ay, even in death most courage doth appear.
OCTAVIUS. Then, waiting death, I mean to seat me here;
Hoping that consuls' name and fear of laws
Shall justify my conscience and my cause.
_Enter a_ MESSENGER.
Now, sirrah, what confused looks are these?
What tidings bringest thou of dreariment?
MESSENGER. My lords, the Consul Cinna, with his friends,
Have let in Marius by _Via Appia_,
Whose soldiers waste and murder all they meet;
Who, with the consul and his other friends,
With expedition hasteth to this place.
ANTHONY. Then to the downfal of my happiness,
Then to the ruin of this city Rome.
But if mine inward ruth were laid in sight,
My streams of tears should drown my foes' despite.
OCTAVIUS. Courage, Lord Anthony: if fortune please,
She will and can these troubles soon appease;
But if her backward frowns approach us nigh,
Resolve with us with honour for to die.
LEPIDUS. No storm of fate shall bring my sorrows down;
But if that fortune list, why, let her frown.
ANTHONY. Where states oppress'd by cruel tyrants be,
Old Anthony, there is no place for thee.
[_Drum strikes within_.
Hark, by this thundering noise of threatening drums,
Marius with all his faction hither comes.
OCTAVIUS. Then like a traitor he shall know, ere long,
In levying arms he doth his country wrong.
_Enter_ MARIUS, _his Son_, CINNA, CETHEGUS, LECTORIUS, _with
Soldiers: upon sight of whom_ MARK ANTHONY _presently flies_.
MARIUS. And have we got the goal of honour now,
And in despite of consuls enter'd Rome?
Then rouse thee, Marius. leave thy ruthful thoughts;
And for thy many cares and toils sustain'd,
Afflict thy foes with quite as many pains.
Go, soldiers, seek out Bebius and his friends,
Attilius, Munitorius, with the rest;
Cut off their heads, for they did cross me once;
And if your care can compass my decree,
Remember that same fugitive Mark Anthony,
Whose fatal end shall be my fruitful peace.
I tell thee, Cinna, nature armeth beasts
With just revenge, and lendeth in their kinds
Sufficient warlike weapons of defence;
If then by nature beasts revenge their wrong,
Both heavens and nature grant me vengeance now.
Yet whilst I live and suck this subtle air,
That lendeth breathing coolness to my lights,
The register of all thy righteous acts,
Thy pains, thy toils, thy travails for my sake,
Shall dwell by kind impressions in my heart,
And I with links of true, unfeigned love
Will lock these Roman favourites in my breast,
And live to hazard life for their relief.
CINNA. My lord, your safe and swift return to Rome
Makes Cinna fortunate and well a-paid;
Who, through the false suggestions of my foes,
Was made a cypher of a consul here:
Lo, where he sits commanding in his throne,
That wronged Marius, me, and all these lords.
YOUNG MARIUS. To 'quite his love, Cinna, let me alone.
How fare these lords that, lumping, pouting, proud,
Imagine now to quell me with their looks?
Now welcome, sirs, is Marius thought so base?
Why stand you looking babies in my face?
Who welcomes me, him Marius makes his friend;
Who lowers on me, him Marius means to end.
FLACCUS. Happy and fortunate thy return to Rome.
LEPIDUS. And long live Marius with fame in Rome.
MARIUS. I thank you, courteous lords, that are so kind.
YOUNG MARIUS. But why endures your grace that braving mate,
To sit and face us in his robes of state?
MARIUS. My son, he is a consul at the least,
And gravity becomes Octavius best,
But, Cinna, would in yonder empty seat
You would for Marius' freedom once entreat.
_CINNA presseth up, and OCTAVIUS stayeth him_.
OCTAVIUS. Avaunt, thou traitor, proud and insolent!
How dar'st thou press near civil government.
MARIUS. Why, Master Consul, are you grown so hot?
I'll have a present cooling card for you.
Be therefore well advis'd, and move me not:
For though by you I was exil'd from Rome,
And in the desert from a prince's seat
Left to bewail ingratitudes of Rome;
Though I have known your thirsty throats have long'd
To bathe themselves in my distilling blood,
Yet Marius, sirs, hath pity join'd with power.
Lo, here the imperial ensign which I wield,
That waveth mercy to my wishers-well:
And more: see here the dangerous trote of war,
That at the point is steel'd with ghastly death.
OCTAVIUS. Thou exile, threaten'st thou a consul then?
Lictors, go draw him hence! such braving mates
Are not to boast their arms in quiet states.
MARIUS. Go draw me hence! What! no relent, Octavius?
YOUNG MARIUS. My lord, what heart indurate with revenge
Could leave this lozel, threat'ning murder thus?
Vouchsafe me leave to taint that traitor seat
With flowing streams of his contagious blood.
OCTAVIUS. The father's son, I know him by his talk,
That scolds in words, when fingers cannot walk.
But Jove, I hope, will one day send to Rome
The blessed patron of this monarchy,
Who will revenge injustice by his sword.
CINNA. Such braving hopes, such cursed arguments:
So strict command, such arrogant controls!
Suffer me, Marius, that am consul now,
To do thee justice, and confound the wretch.
MARIUS. Cinna, you know I am a private man,
That still submit my censures to your will.
CINNA. Then, soldiers, draw this traitor from the throne,
And let him die, for Cinna wills it so.
YOUNG MARIUS. Ay, now, my Cinna, noble consul, speaks.
Octavius, your checks shall cost you dear.
OCTAVIUS. And let me die, for Cinna wills it so!
Is then the reverence of this robe contemn'd?
Are these associates of so small regard?
Why then, Octavius willingly consents
To entertain the sentence of his death.
But let the proudest traitor work his will;
I fear no strokes, but here will sit me still.
Since justice sleeps, since tyrants reign in Rome,
Octavius longs for death to die in Rome.
CINNA. Then strike him where he sits; then hale him hence.
OCTAVIUS. Heavens punish Cinna's pride and thy offence.
[_A Soldier stabs him; he is carried away_.
CINNA. Now is he fallen that threaten'd Marius;
Now will I sit and plead for Marius.
MARIUS. Thou dost me justice, Cinna, for you see
These peers of Rome of late exiled me.
LEPIDUS. Your lordship doth injustice to accuse
Those, who in your behalf did not offend.
FLACCUS. We grieve to see the aged Marius
Stand like a private man in view of Rome.
CINNA. Then bid him sit; and lo, an empty place:
Revoke his exile from his government,
And so prevent your farther detriment.
LEPIDUS. We will account both Marius and his friends,
His son and all his followers, free in Rome:
And since we see the dangerous times at hand,
And hear of Sylla's confidence and haste,
And know his hate and rancour to these lords,
We him create for consul, to prevent
The policies of Sylla and his friends.
CINNA. Then, both confirm'd by state and full consent,
The rods and axe to Marius I present,
And here invest thee with the consul's pall.
FLACCUS. Long, fortunate, and happy life betide
Old Marius in his sevenfold consulship.
YOUNG MARIUS. And so let Marius live and govern Rome,
As cursed Sylla never look on Rome.
MARIUS. Then plac'd in consul's throne, you Roman states,
[_He takes his seat_.
Recall'd from banishment by your decrees,
Install'd in this imperial seat to rule,
Old Marius thanks his friends and favourites,
From whom this final favour he requires:
That, seeing Sylla by his murderous blade
Brought fierce seditions first to head in Rome,
And forced laws to banish innocents,
I crave by course of reason and desert,
That he may be proclaimed, as erst was I,
A traitor and an enemy of Rome.
Let all his friends be banish'd out of town;
Then, cutting off the branch where troubles spring,
Rome shall have peace and plenty in her walls.
CINNA. In equity it needs must be, my friends,
That one be guilty of our common harms:
And since that Marius is accounted free,
Sylla with all his friends must traitors be.
YOUNG MARIUS. My father's reasons, Romans, are of force;
For if you see, and live not to secure,
You know that, in so great a state as this,
Two mighty foes can never well agree.
LEPIDUS. Then let us seek to please our consul first,
And then prepare to keep the exile out.
Cinna, as Marius and these lords agree,
Firm this edict, and let it pass for me.
CINNA. Then, Romans, in the name of all this state,
I here proclaim and publish this decree;
That Sylla with his friends, allies, and all,
Are banish'd exiles, traitors unto Rome:
And to extinguish both his name and state,
We will his house be razed to the ground,
His goods confiscate: this our censure is.
Lictor, proclaim this in the market-place,
And see it executed out of hand.
MARIUS. Now see I, senators, the thought, the care,
The virtuous zeal that leads your toward minds
To love your friends, and watch your common good:
And now, establish'd consul in this place,
Old Marius will foresee advenient harms.
Sylla, the scourge of Asia, as we hear,
Is press'd to enter Italy with sword.
He comes in pomp to triumph here in Rome:
But, senators, you know the wavering wills
Of foolish men--I mean the common sort--
Who, through report of innovations,
Of flattering humours of well-temper'd tongues,
Will change, and draw a second mischief on.
I like your care, and will myself apply
To aim and level at my country's weal.
To intercept these errors by advice,
My son young Marius, Cethegus, and my friends,
Shall to Praeneste, to prevent and stop
The speedy purpose of our forward foe.
Meanwhile, ourselves will fortify this town,
This beauty of the world, this maiden-town;
Where streaming Tybris, with a pleasant tide,
Leads out the stately buildings of the world.
Marius, my hope, my son, you know your charge:
Take those Iberian legions in your train,
And we will spare some Cymbrians to your use.
Remember thou art Marius' son, and dream
On nought but honour and a happy death!
YOUNG MARIUS. I go, my lord, in hope to make the world
Report my service and my duty too;
And that proud challenger of Asia
Shall find that Marius' son hath force and wit.
[_Exit cum_ CETHEGO.
MARIUS. Go, thou, as fortunate as Greeks to Troy;
As glorious as Alcides in thy toils;
As happy as Sertorius in thy fight;
As valiant as Achilles in thy might:
Go, glorious, valiant, happy, fortunate,
As all those Greeks and him of Roman state!
_Enter, led in with Soldiers_, CORNELIA and FULVIA.
CORNELIA. Traitors! why drag you thus a prince's wife,
As if that beauty were a thrall to fate?
Are Romans grown more barbarous than Greeks,
That hate more greater than Cassandra now?
The Macedonian monarch was more kind,
That honour'd and reliev'd in warlike camp
Darius' mother, daughters, and his wife.
But you unkind to Roman ladies now,
Perhaps as constant as the ancient queens;
For they, subdu'd, had friendship in disgrace,
Where we, unconquer'd, live in woful case.
MARIUS. What plaintive pleas presents that lady there?
Why, soldiers, make you prisoners here in Rome?
1ST SOLDIER. Dread consul, we have found Cornelia here
And Sylla's daughter posting out of town.
MARIUS. Ladies of worth, both beautiful and wise,
But near allied unto my greatest foe:
Yet Marius' mind, that never meant disgrace,
More likes their courage than their comely face.
Are you Cornelia, madam, Sylla's wife?
CORNELIA. I am Cornelia, Sylla's wife; what then?
MARIUS. And is this Fulvia, Sylla's daughter, too?
FULVIA. And this is Fulvia, Sylla's daughter, too.
MARIUS. Two welcome guests, in whom the majesty
Of my conceit and courage must consist.
What think you, senators and countrymen?
See, here are two, the fairest stars of Rome.
The dearest dainties of my warlike foe,
Whose lives upon your censures do subsist.
LEPIDUS. Dread consul, the continuance of their lives
Shall egg on Sylla to a greater haste;
And, in bereaving of their vital breath,
Your grace shall force more fury from your foe.
Of these extremes we leave the choice to you.
MARIUS. Then think that some strange fortune shall ensue.
FULVIA. Poor Fulvia, now thy happy days are done!
Instead of marriage pomp, the fatal lights
Of funerals must masque about thy bed:
Nor shall thy father's arms with kind embrace
Hem in thy shoulders, trembling now for fear.
I see in Marius' looks such tragedies,
As fear my heart; and fountains fill mine eyes.
CORNELIA. Fie, Fulvia! shall thy father's daughter faint,
Before the threats of danger shall approach?
Dry up those tears, and like a Roman maid,
Be bold and silent, till our foe have said.
MARIUS. Cornelia, wife unto my traitor-foe,
What gadding mood hath forc'd thy speedy flight
To leave thy country, and forsake thy friends?
CORNELIA. Accursed Marius, offspring of my pains,
Whose furious wrath hath wrought thy country's woe,
What may remain for me or mine in Rome,
That see the tokens of thy tyrannies?
Vile monster, robb'd of virtue, what revenge
Is this, to wreak thine anger on the walls?
To raze our house, to banish all our friends,
To kill the rest, and captive us at last?
Think'st thou by barbarous deeds to boast thy state,
Or spoiling Sylla, to depress his hate?
No, Marius, but for every drop of blood
And inch of wrong he shall return thee two.
FLACCUS. Madam, in danger wisdom doth advise
In humble terms to reconcile our foes.
MARIUS. She is a woman, Flaccus; let her talk,
That breathes forth bitter words instead of blows.
CORNELIA. And in regard of that, immodest man,
Thou shouldst desist from outrage and revenge.
LECTORIUS. What, can your grace endure these cursed scoffs?
MARIUS. Why, my Lectorius, I have ever learnt
That ladies cannot wrong me with upbraids;
Then let her talk, and my concealed hate
Shall heap revengement upon Sylla's pate.
FULVIA. Let fevers first afflict thy feeble age;
Let palsies make thy stubborn fingers faint;
Let humours, streaming from thy moisten'd brains,
With clouds of dimness choke thy fretful eyes,
Before these monstrous harms assail my sire.
MARIUS. By'r lady, Fulvia, you are gaily read:
Your mother well may boast you for her own;
For both of you have words and scoffs at will.
And since I like the compass of your wit,
Myself will stand, and, ladies, you shall sit.
And, if you please to wade in farther words,
Let's see what brawls your memories affords.
CORNELIA. Your lordship's passing mannerly in jest;
But that you may perceive we smell your drift,
We both will sit, and countenance your shift.
MARIUS. Where constancy and beauty do consort,
There ladies' threatenings turn to merry sport.
How fare these beautiful? what, well at ease?
FULVIA. As ready as at first for to displease;
For, full confirm'd that we shall surely die,
We wait our ends with Roman constancy.
MARIUS. Why, think you Marius hath confirm'd your death?
FULVIA. What other fruit may spring from tyrant's hands?
MARIUS. In faith then, ladies, thus the matter stands:
Since you mistake my love and courtesy,
Prepare yourselves, for you shall surely die.
CORNELIA. Ay, Marius, now I know thou dost not lie;
And that thou mayst, unto thy lasting blame,
Extinguish in our deaths thy wished fame,
Grant us this boon that, making choice of death,
We may be freed from fury of thine ire.
MARIUS. An easy boon; ladies, I condescend.
CORNELIA. Then suffer us in private chamber close
To meditate a day or two alone;
And, tyrant, if thou find us living then,
Commit us straight unto thy slaughtering-men.
MARIUS. Ladies, I grant; for Marius nill deny
A suit so easy and of such import;
For pity 'twere that dames of constancy
Should not be agents of their misery.
[_Here he whispers_ LECTORIUS.
Lectorius, hark, despatch.
CORNELIA. So, Fulvia, now the latest doom is fix'd,
And nought remains but constant Roman hearts
To bear the brunt of irksome fury's spite.
Rouse thee, my dear, and daunt those faint conceits,
That trembling stand aghast at bitter death.
Bethink thee now that Sylla was thy sire,
Whose courage heaven nor fortune could abate:
Then, like the offspring of fierce Sylla's house,
Pass with the thrice-renowned Phrygian dame,
As to thy marriage, so unto thy death:
For nought to wretches is more sweet than death.
FULVIA. Madam, confirm'd as well to die as live,
Fulvia awaiteth nothing but her death.
Yet had my father known the course of change,
Or seen our loss by lucky augury,
This tyrant nor his followers had liv'd
To 'joy the ruin of fierce Sylla's house.
MARIUS. But, lady, they that dwell on fortune's call
No sooner rise, but subject are to fall.
FULVIA. Marius, I doubt not but our constant ends
Shall make thee wail thy tyrant's government.
MARIUS. When tyrant's rule doth breed my care and woe,
Then will I say two ladies told me so.
But here comes Lectorius. Now, my lord.
Have you brought those things?
LECTORIUS. I have, noble consul.
MARIUS. Now, ladies, you are resolute to die?
CORNELIA. Ay, Marius, for terror cannot daunt us.
Tortures were framed to dread the baser eye,
And not t'appal a princely majesty.
MARIUS. And Marius lives to triumph o'er his foes,
That train their warlike troops amidst the plains,
And are enclos'd and hemm'd with shining arms,
Not to appal such princely majesty.
Virtue, sweet ladies, is of more regard
In Marius' mind, where honour is enthron'd,
Than Rome or rule of Roman empery.
[_Here he puts chains about their necks_.
The bands, that should combine your snow-white wrists,
Are these which shall adorn your milk-white necks.
The private cells, where you shall end your lives,
Is Italy, is Europe--nay the world.
Th'Euxinian Sea, the fierce Sicilian Gulf,
The river Ganges and Hydaspes' stream
Shall level lie, and smooth as crystal ice,
While Fulvia and Cornelia pass thereon.
The soldiers, that should guard you to your deaths,
Shall be five thousand gallant youths of Rome,
In purple robes cross-barr'd with pales of gold,
Mounted on warlike coursers for the field,
Fet from the mountain-tops of Corsica,
Or bred in hills of bright Sardinia,
Who shall conduct and bring you to your lord.
Ay, unto Sylla, ladies, shall you go,
And tell him Marius holds within his hands
Honour for ladies, for ladies rich reward;
But as for Sylla and for his compeers,
Who dare 'gainst Marius vaunt their golden crests,
Tell him for them old Marius holds revenge,
And in his hands both triumphs life and death.
CORNELIA. Doth Marius use with glorious words to jest,
And mock his captives with these glosing terms?
MARIUS. No, ladies;
Marius hath sought for honour with his sword,
And holds disdain to triumph in your falls.
Live, Cornelia: live, fair and fairest Fulvia!
If you have done or wrought me injury,
Sylla shall pay it through his misery.
FULVIA. So gracious, famous consul, are thy words,
That Rome and we shall celebrate thy worth,
And Sylla shall confess himself o'ercome.
CORNELIA. If ladies' prayers or tears may move the heavens,
Sylla shall vow himself old Marius' friend.
MARIUS. Ladies, for that I nought at all regard:
Sylla's my foe, I'll triumph over him;
For other conquest glory doth not win.
Therefore come on,
That I may send you unto Sylla.
_Enter a_ CLOWN, _drunk, with a pint of wine in his hand,
and two or three_ SOLDIERS.
1ST SOLDIER. Sirrah, dally not with us; you know where he is.
CLOWN. O, sir, a quart is a quart in any man's purse, and drink is
drink, and can my master live without his drink, I pray you?
2D SOLDIER. You have a master then, sirrah?
CLOWN. Have I a master, thou scoundrel? I have an orator to my master,
a wise man to my master. But, fellows, I must make a parenthesis of
this pint-pot, for words make men dry: now, by my troth, I drink to
3D SOLDIER. Fellow-soldiers, the weakness of his brain hath made his
tongue walk largely; we shall have some novelties by-and-by.
CLOWN. O most surpassing wine,
Thou marrow of the vine!
More welcome unto me
Than whips to scholars be.
Thou art, and ever was,
A means to mend an ass;
Thou makest some to sleep,
And many mo to weep,
And some be glad and merry,
With heigh down derry, derry.
Thou makest some to stumble,
And many mo to fumble,
And me have pinky neyne.
More brave and jolly wine!
What need I praise thee mo,
For thou art good, with heigh-ho!
3D SOLDIER. If wine then be so good, I prithee, for thy part,
Tell us where Lord Anthony is, and thou shalt have a quart.
CLOWN. First shall the snow be black,
And pepper lose his smack,
And stripes forsake my back:
First merry drunk with sack,
I will go boast and track,
And all your costards crack,
Before I do the knack
Shall make me sing alack.
Alack, the old man is weary,
For wine hath made him merry.
With a heigh-ho.
1ST SOLDIER. I prythee leave these rhymes, and tell us where thy
CLOWN. Faith, where you shall not be,
Unless ye go with me.
But shall I tell them so?
O, no, sir, no, no, no.
The man hath many a foe,
As far as I do know:
You do not flout me, I hope.
See how this liquor fumes,
And how my force presumes.
You would know where Lord Anthony is? I perceive you.
Shall I say he is in yond farmhouse? I deceive you.
Shall I tell you this wine is for him? The gods forfend,
And so I end. Go, fellow-fighters, there's a bob for ye.
2D SOLDIER. My masters, let us follow this clown, for questionless this
grave orator is in yonder farmhouse. But who cometh yonder?
_Enter_ OLD ANTHONY.
ANTHONY. I wonder why my peasant stays so long,
And with my wonder hasteth on my woe,
And with my woe I am assailed with fear,
And with my fear await with faintful breath
The final period of my pains by death.
1ST SOLDIER. Yond's the man we seek for, soldiers. Unsheathe your
swords, and make a riddance of Marius' ancient enemy.
CLOWN. Master, fly, fly,
Or else you shall die!
A plague on this wine,
Hath made me so fine!
And will you not be gone?
Then I'll leave you alone,
And sleep upon your woe,
With a lamentable heigh-ho.
ANTHONY. Betrayed at last by witless oversight!
Now, Anthony, prepare thyself to die.
Lo, where the monstrous ministers of wrath
Menace thy murder with their naked swords.
2D SOLDIER. Anthony, well-met: the consul Marius, with other confederate
senators, have adjudged thee death, therefore prepare thyself, and think
we favour thee in this little protraction.
ANTHONY. Immortal powers, that know the painful cares
That wait upon my poor distressed heart,
O, bend your brows, and level all your looks
Of dreadful awe upon these daring men!
And thou, sweet niece of Atlas, on whose lips
And tender tongue the pliant muses sit,
Let gentle course of sweet aspiring speech,
Let honey-flowing terms of weary woe,
Let fruitful figures and delightful lines
Enforce a spring of pity from their eyes,
Amaze the murd'rous passions of their minds,
That they may favour woful Anthony.
O countrymen, what shall become of Rome,
When reverend duty droopeth through disgrace?
O countrymen, what shall become of Rome,
When woful nature, widow of her joys,
Weeps on our walls to see her laws depress'd?
O Romans, hath not Anthony's discourse
Seal'd up the mouths of false seditious men,
Assoil'd the doubts and quaint controls of power,
Relieved the mournful matron with his pleas?
And will you seek to murder Anthony?
The lions brook with kindness their relief;
The sheep reward the shepherd with their fleece;
Yet Romans seek to murder Anthony.
1ST SOLDIER. Why, what enchanting terms of art are these,
That force my heart to pity his distress?
2D SOLDIER. His action, speech, his favour and his grace,
My rancour rage and rigour doth deface.
3D SOLDIER. So sweet his words, that now of late, meseems,
His art doth draw my soul from out my lips.
ANTHONY. What envious eyes, reflecting nought but rage,
What barbarous heart, refresh'd with nought but blood,
That rends not to behold the senseless trees
In doly season drooping without leaves?
The shepherd sighs upon the barren hills,
To see his bleating lambs with faintful looks
Behold the valleys robb'd of springing flowers,
That whilom wont to yield them yearly food.
Even meanest things, exchang'd from former state,
The virtuous mind with some remorse doth mate.
Can then your eyes with thundering threats of rage
Cast furious gleams of anger upon age?
Can then your hearts with furies mount so high,
As they should harm the Roman Anthony?
I, far more kind than senseless tree, have lent
A kindly sap to our declining state,
And like a careful shepherd have foreseen
The heavy dangers of this city Rome;
And made the citizens the happy flock,
Whom I have fed with counsels and advice:
But now those locks that, for their reverend white,
Surpass the down on Aesculapius' chin:
But now that tongue, whose terms and fluent style
For number pass'd the hosts of heavenly fires:
But now that head, within whose subtle brains
The queen of flowing eloquence did dwell--
_Enter a_ CAPTAIN.
These locks, this tongue, this head, this life, and all,
To please a tyrant, trait'rously must fall.
CAPTAIN. Why, how now, soldiers, is he living yet?
And will you be bewitched with his words?
Then take this fee, false orator, from me: [_Stabs him_.
Elysium best beseems thy faintful limbs.
ANTHONY. O blissful pains! now Anthony must die,
Which serv'd and lov'd Rome and her empery.
CAPTAIN. Go, curtal off that neck with present stroke,
And straight present it unto Marius.
1ST SOLDIER. Even in this head did all the muses dwell:
The bees, that sat upon the Grecian's lips,
Distill'd their honey on his temper'd tongue.
2D SOLDIER. The crystal dew of fair Castalian springs
With gentle floatings trickled on his brains:
The graces kissed his kind and courteous brows,
Apollo gave the beauties of his harp,
_Enter_ LECTORIUS _pensive_.
And melodies unto his pliant speech.
CAPTAIN. Leave these presumptuous praises, countrymen:
And see Lectorius, pensive where he comes.
Lo, here, my lord, the head of Anthony;
See here the guerdon fit for Marius' foe,
Whom dread Apollo prosper in his rule.
LECTORIUS. O Romans, Marius sleeps among the dead,
And Rome laments the loss of such a friend.
CAPTAIN. A sudden and a woful chance, my lord,
Which we intentive fain would understand.
LECTORIUS. Though swoll'n with sighs, my heart for sorrow burst,
And tongue with tears and plaints be choked up,
Yet will I furrow forth with forced breath
A speedy passage to my pensive speech.
Our consul Marius, worthy soldiers,
Of late within a pleasant plot of ground
Sat down for pleasure near a crystal spring,
Accompanied with many lords of Rome.
Bright was the day, and on the spreading trees
The frolic citizens of forest sung
Their lays and merry notes on perching boughs;
When suddenly appeared in the east
Seven mighty eagles with their talons fierce,
Who, waving oft about our consul's head,
At last with hideous cry did soar away.
When suddenly old Marius aghast,
With reverend smile, determin'd with a sigh
The doubtful silence of the standers-by.
Romans, said he, old Marius now must die:
These seven fair eagles, birds of mighty Jove,
That at my birthday on my cradle sat,
Now at my last day warn me to my death,
And lo, I feel the deadly pangs approach.
What should I more? In brief, with many prayers
For Rome, his son--his goods and lands dispos'd--
Our worthy consul to our wonder died.
The city is amaz'd, for Sylla hastes
To enter Rome with fury, sword and fire.
Go place that head upon the capitol,
And to your wards, for dangers are at hand.
CAPTAIN. Had we foreseen this luckless chance before,
Old Anthony had liv'd and breathed yet.
_A great skirmish in Rome and long, some slain. At
last enter_ SYLLA _triumphant, with_ POMPEY, METELLUS,
SYLLA. Now, Romans, after all these mutinies,
Seditions, murders and conspiracies,
Imagine with impartial hearts at last,
What fruits proceed from these contentious brawls.
Your streets, where erst the fathers of your state
In robes of purple walked up and down,
Are strewed with mangled members, streaming blood:
And why? the reasons of this ruthful wrack
Are your seditious innovations,
Your fickle minds inclin'd to foolish change.
Ungrateful men! whilst I with tedious pain
In Asia seal'd my duty with my blood,
Making the fierce Dardanians faint for fear,
Spreading my colours in Galatia,
Dipping my sword in the Enetans' blood,
And foraging the fields of Phocida,
You called my foe from exile with his friends;
You did proclaim me traitor here in Rome;
You raz'd my house, you did defame my friends.
But, brawling wolves, you cannot bite the moon,
For Sylla lives, so forward to revenge,
As woe to those that sought to do me wrong.
I now am entered Rome in spite of force,
And will so hamper all my cursed foes.
As be he tribune, consul, lord, or knight,
That hateth Sylla, let him look to die.
And first to make an entrance to mine ire,
Bring me that traitor Carbo out of hand.
POMPEY. O Sylla, in revenging injuries,
Inflict the pain where first offence did spring,
And for my sake establish peace in Rome,
And pardon these repentant citizens.
SYLLA. Pompey, I love thee, Pompey, and consent
To thy request; but, Romans, have regard,
Lest over-reaching in offence again,
I load your shoulders with a double pain.
Bring in_ CARBO _bound_.
But, Pompey, see where jolly Carbo comes,
Footing it featly like a mighty man.
What, no obeisance, sirrah, to your lord?
CARBO. My lord? No, Sylla: he that thrice hath borne
The name of consul scorns to stoop to him,
Whose heart doth hammer nought but mutinies.
POMPEY. And doth your lordship then disdain to stoop?
CARBO. Ay, to mine equal, Pompey, as thou art.
SYLLA. Thine equal, villain? no, he is my friend;
Thou, but a poor anatomy of bones,
Cas'd in a knavish tawny withered skin.
Wilt thou not stoop? art thou so stately then?
CARBO. Sylla, I honour gods, not foolish men.
SYLLA. Then break that wither'd bough, that will not bend,
And, soldiers, cast him down before my feet: [_They throw him down_.
Now, prating sir, my foot upon thy neck,
I'll be so bold to give your lordship check.
Believe me, soldiers, but I over-reach;
Old Carbo's neck at first was made to stretch.
CARBO. Though body bend, thou tyrant most unkind,
Yet never shalt thou humble Carbo's mind.
SYLLA. O sir, I know, for all your warlike pith
A man may mar your worship with a with.
You, sirrah, levied arms to do me wrong;
You brought your legions to the gates of Rome;
You fought it out in hope that I would faint;
But, sirrah, now betake you to your books,
Entreat the gods to save your sinful soul:
For why this carcase must in my behalf
Go feast the ravens that serve our augurs' turn.
Methinks I see already, how they wish
To bait their beaks in such a jolly dish.
CARBO. Sylla, thy threats and scoffs amate me not.
I prythee, let thy murderers hale me hence;
For Carbo rather likes to die by sword,
Than live to be a mocking-stock to thee.
SYLLA. The man hath haste; good soldiers, take him hence:
It would be good to alter his pretence.
But be advis'd that, when the fool is slain,
You part the head and body both in twain.
I know that Carbo longs to know the cause,
And shall: thy body for the ravens, thy head for daws.
CARBO. O matchless ruler of our capitol,
Behold poor Rome with grave and piteous eye
Fulfilled with wrong and wretched tyranny!
[_Exit_ CARBO _cum militibus.
Enter_ SCIPIO, NORBANUS, _and_ CARINNA.
SYLLA. Tut, the proud man's prayer will never pierce the sky.
But whither press these mincing senators?
NORBANUS. We press with prayers, we come with mournful tears,
Entreating Sylla by those holy bands,
That link fair Juno with her thundering Jove,
Even by the bonds of hospitality,
To pity Rome afflicted through thy wrath.
Thy soldiers (Sylla) murder innocents:
O, whither will thy lawless fury stretch,
If little ruth ensue thy country's harms?
SYLLA. Gay words, Norbanus, full of eloquence,
Accompanied with action and conceit:
But I must teach thee judgment therewithal
Dar'st thou approach my presence, that hast borne
Thine arms in spite of Sylla and his friends?
I tell thee, foolish man, thy judgment wanted
In this presumptuous purpose that is pass'd:
And, loitering scholar, since you fail in art,
I'll learn you judgment shortly to your smart.
Despatch him, soldiers; I must see him die.
And you, Carinna, Carbo's ancient friend,
Shall follow straight your headless general.
And, Scipio, were it not I lov'd thee well,
Thou should'st accompany these slaves to hell:
But get you gone, and if you love yourself.
CARINNA. Pardon me, Sylla! pardon, gentle Sylla!
SYLLA. Sirrah, this gentle name was coin'd too late,
And shadow'd in the shrouds of biting hate.
Despatch! [_Kill him_.] why so; good fortune to my friends--
As for my foes, even such shall be their ends.
Convey them hence. Metellus, gentle Metellus,
Fetch me Sertorius from Iberia:
In doing so thou standest me in stead,
For sore I long to see the traitor's head.
METELLUS. I go, confirm'd to conquer him by sword,
Or in th'exploit to hazard life and all. [_Exit_.
SYLLA. Now, Pompey, let me see: those senators
Are dangerous stops of our pretended state,
And must be curtail'd, lest they grow too proud.
I do proscribe just forty senators,
Which shall be leaders in my tragedy.
And for our gentlemen are over-proud,
Of them a thousand and six hundred die;
A goodly army, meet to conquer hell.
Soldiers, perform the course of my decree.
Their friends my foes, their foes shall be my friends.
Go sell their goods by trumpet at your wills:
Meanwhile Pompey shall see, and Rome shall rue,
The miseries that shortly shall ensue.
_Alarum, skirmish, a retreat. Enter_ YOUNG MARIUS
_upon the walls of_ PRAENESTE _with some Soldiers,
all in black and wonderful melancholy_.
YOUNG MARIUS. O endless course of needy man's avail!
What silly thoughts, what simple policies,
Make man presume upon this traitorous life!
Have I not seen the depth of sorrow once,
And then again have kiss'd the queen of chance.
O Marius, thou, Tillitius, and thy friends,
Hast seen thy foe discomfited in fight:
But now the stars have form'd my final harms.
My father Marius lately dead in Rome;
My foe with honour doth triumph in Rome,
My friends are dead and banished from Rome.
Ay, Marius, father, friends, more blest than thee!
They dead, I live; I thralled, they are free.
Here in Praeneste am I cooped up,
Amongst a troop of hunger-starved men,
Set to prevent false Sylla's fierce approach,
But now exempted both of life and all.
Well, fortune, since thy fleeting change hath cast
Poor Marius from his hopes and true desires,
My resolution shall exceed thy power.
Thy colour'd wings steeped in purple blood,
Thy blinding wreath distain'd in purple blood,
Thy royal robes wash'd in my purple blood,
Shall witness to the world thy thirst of blood;
And when the tyrant Sylla shall expect
To see the son of Marius stoop to fear,
Then, then, O, then, my mind shall well appear,
That scorn my life, and hold mine honour dear.
[_Alarum. A retreat_.
Hark how these murderous Romans, viper-like,
Seek to bewray their fellow-citizens.
O wretched world, from whence with speedy flight
True love, true zeal, true honour late is fled!
SOLDIER. What makes my lord so careless and secure,
To leave the breach and here lament alone?
YOUNG MARIUS. Not fear, my friend, for I could never fly;
But study how with honour for to die.
I pray thee, call the chiefest citizens;
I must advise them in a weighty cause:
Here shall they meet me; and, until they come,
I will go view the danger of the breach.
[_Exit_ YOUNG MARIUS, _with the Soldiers_.
_Enter, with drums and Soldiers_, LUCRETIUS, _with
other Romans, as_ TUDITANUS, &c.
LUCRETIUS. Say, Tuditanus, didst thou ever see
So desperate defence as this hath been.
TUDITANUS. As in Numidia, tigers wanting food,
Or, as in Lybia, lions full of ire,
So fare these Romans on Praeneste walls.
LUCRETIUS. Their valour, Tuditanus, and resist,
The man-like fight of younger Marius,
Makes me amaz'd to see their miseries,
And pity them, although they be my foes.
What said I? Foes? O Rome, with ruth I see
Thy state consum'd through folly and dissension!
Well, sound a parley; I will see if words
[_Sound a parley_--YOUNG MARIUS _appears
upon the walls with the Citizens_.
Can make them yield, which will not fly for strokes.
YOUNG MARIUS. What seeks this Roman warrior at our hands?
LUCRETIUS. That seeks he, Marius, that he wisheth thee:
An humble heart and then a happy peace.
Thou see'st thy fortunes are depress'd and down;
Thy victuals spent; thy soldiers weak with want;
The breach laid open, ready to assault:
Now, since thy means and maintenance are done,
Yield, Marius, yield. Praenestians, be advis'd;
Lucretius is advis'd to favour you.
I pray thee, Marius, mark my last advice:
Relent in time; let Sylla be thy friend;
So thou in Rome may'st lead a happy life,
And those with thee shall pray for Marius still.
YOUNG MARIUS. Lucretius, I consider on thy words:
Stay there awhile; thou shalt have answer straight.
LUCRETIUS. Apollo grant that my persuasions may
Preserve these Roman soldiers from the sword.
YOUNG MARIUS. My friends and citizens of Praeneste town,
You see the wayward working of our stars;
Our hearts confirm'd to fight, our victuals spent.
If we submit, it's Sylla must remit;
A tyrant, traitor, enemy to Rome,
Whose heart is guarded still with bloody thoughts.
These flattering vows Lucretius here avows,
Are pleasing words to colour poison'd thoughts.
What, will you live with shame, or die with fame?
1ST CITIZEN. A famous death, my lord, delights us most.
2D CITIZEN. We of thy faction, Marius, are resolv'd
To follow thee in life and death together.
YOUNG MARIUS. Words full of worth, beseeming noble minds:
The very balsamum to mend my woes.
O countrymen! you see Campania spoil'd;
A tyrant threat'ning mutinies in Rome;
A world despoil'd of virtue, faith, and trust.
If then, no peace, no liberty, no faith,
Conclude with me, and let it be no life!
Live not to see your tender infants slain;
These stately towers made level with the land;
This body mangled by our enemy's sword:
But full resolv'd to do as Marius doth,
Unsheathe your poniards, and let every friend
Bethink him of a soldier-like farewell.
Sirrah, display my standard on the walls,
And I will answer yond Lucretius:
Who loveth Marius, now must die with Marius!
LUCRETIUS. What answer will your lordship then return us?
YOUNG MARIUS. Lucretius, we that know what Sylla is--
How dissolute, how trothless and corrupt,
In brief conclude to die, before we yield:
But so to die--Lucretius, mark me well--
As loth to see the fury of our swords
Should murther friends and Roman citizens.
Fie, countrymen! what fury doth infect
Your warlike bosoms, that were wont to fight
With foreign foes, not with Campanian friends.
Now unadvised youth must counsel eld;
For governance is banish'd out of Rome.
Woe to that bough, from whence these blooms are sprung!
Woe to that Aetna, vomiting this fire!
Woe to that brand, consuming country's weal!
Woe to that Sylla, careless and secure,
That gapes with murder for a monarchy!
Go, second Brutus, with a Roman mind,
And kill that tyrant. And for Marius' sake,
Pity the guiltless wives of these your friends.
Preserve their weeping infants from the sword,
Whose fathers seal their honours with their bloods.
Farewell, Lucretius: first I press in place [_Stab_.
To let thee see a constant Roman die.
Praenestians, lo, a wound, a fatal wound!
The pain but small, the glory passing great!
Praenestians, see a second stroke! why so; [_Again_.
I feel the dreeping dimness of the night,
Closing the coverts of my careful eyes.
Follow me, friends; for Marius now must die
With fame, in spite of Sylla's tyranny.
1ST CITIZEN. We follow thee our chieftain even in death.
Our town is thine, Lucretius; but we pray
For mercy for our children and our wives.
2D CITIZEN. O, save my son, Lucretius; let him live.
LUCRETIUS. A wondrous and bewitched constancy,
Beseeming Marius' pride and haughty mind.
Come, let us charge the breach; the town is ours.
Both male and female, put them to the sword:
So please you, Sylla, and fulfil his word.
_A little skirmish. A retreat. Enter in royally_ LUCRETIUS.
LUCRETIUS. Now, Romans, we have brought Praeneste low,
And Marius sleeps amidst the dead at last:
So then to Rome, my countrymen, with joy,
Where Sylla waits the tidings of our fight.
Those prisoners that are taken, see forthwith
With warlike javelins you put them to death.
Come, let us march! See Rome in sight, my hearts,
Where Sylla waits the tidings of our war.
_Enter_ SYLLA, VALERIUS FLACCUS, LEPIDUS, POMPEY, _Citizens'
Guard_: SYLLA, _seated in his robes of state, is saluted by
the Citizens, &c_.
FLACCUS. Romans, you know, and to your griefs have seen
A world of troubles hatched here at home,
Which through prevention being well-nigh cross'd
By worthy Sylla and his warlike band,
I, consul, with these fathers think it meet
To fortify our peace and city's weal,
To name some man of worth that may supply
Dictator's power and place; whose majesty
Shall cross the courage of rebellious minds.
What think you, Romans, will you condescend?
SYLLA. Nay, Flaccus, for their profits they must yield;
For men of mean condition and conceit
Must humble their opinions to their lords.
And if my friends and citizens consent,
Since I am born to manage mighty things,
I will, though loth, both rule and govern them.
I speak not this, as though I wish to reign,
But for to know my friends: and yet again
I merit, Romans, far more grace than this.
FLACCUS. Ay, countrymen, if Sylla's power and mind,
If Sylla's virtue, courage, and device,
If Sylla's friends and fortunes merit fame,
None then but he should bear dictator's name.
POMPEY. What think you, citizens, why stand ye mute?
Shall Sylla be dictator here in Rome?
CITIZENS. By full consent Sylla shall be dictator.
FLACCUS. Then in the name of Rome I here present
The rods and axes into Sylla's hand;
And fortunate prove Sylla, our dictator.
[_Trumpets sound: cry within_, SYLLA _Dictator_.
SYLLA. My fortunes, Flaccus, cannot be impeach'd.
For at my birth the planets passing kind
Could entertain no retrograde aspects:
And that I may with kindness 'quite their love,
My countrymen, I will prevent the cause
'Gainst all the false encounters of mishap.
You name me your dictator, but prefix
No time, no course, but give me leave to rule
And yet exempt me not from your revenge.
Thus by your pleasures being set aloft,
Straight by your furies I should quickly fall.
No, citizens, who readeth Sylla's mind,
Must form my titles in another kind:
Either let Sylla be dictator ever,
Or flatter Sylla with these titles never.
CITIZENS. Perpetual be thy glory and renown:
Perpetual lord dictator shalt thou be.
POMPEY. Hereto the senate frankly doth agree.
SYLLA. Then so shall Sylla reign, you senators.
Then so shall Sylla rule, you citizens,
As senators and citizens that please me
Shall be my friends; the rest cannot disease me.
_Enter_ LUCRETIUS, _with Soldiers_.
But see, whereas Lucretius is return'd!
Welcome, brave Roman: where is Marius?
Are these Praenestians put unto the sword?
LUCRETIUS. The city, noble Sylla, razed is,
And Marius dead--not by our swords, my lord,
But with more constancy than Cato died.
SYLLA. What, constancy! and but a very boy?
Why then I see he was his father's son.
But let us have this constancy described.
LUCRETIUS. After our fierce assaults and their resist,
Our siege, their sallying out to stop our trench,
Labour and hunger reigning in the town,
The younger Marius on the city's wall
Vouchsaf'd an inter-parley at the last;
Wherein with constancy and courage too
He boldly arm'd his friends, himself, to death;
And, spreading of his colours on the wall,
For answer said he could not brook to yield,
Or trust a tyrant such as Sylla was.
SYLLA. What, did the brainsick boy upbraid me so?
But let us hear the rest, Lucretius.
LUCRETIUS. And, after great persuasions to his friends
And worthy resolution of them all,
He first did sheathe his poniard in his breast,
And so in order died all the rest.
SYLLA. Now, by my sword, this was a worthy jest.
Yet, silly boy, I needs must pity thee,
Whose noble mind could never mated be.
Believe me, countrymen, a sudden thought,
A sudden change in Sylla now hath wrought.
Old Marius and his son were men of name,
Nor fortune's laughs nor low'rs their minds could tame,
And when I count their fortunes that are past,
I see that death confirm'd their fames at last.
Then he that strives to manage mighty things,
Amidst his triumphs gains a troubled mind.
The greatest hope, the greatest harm it brings,
And poor men in content their glory find.
If then content be such a pleasant thing,
Why leave I country life to live a king?
Yet kings are gods, and make the proudest stoop;
Yea, but themselves are still pursued with hate:
And men were made to mount and then to droop.
Such chances wait upon uncertain fate.
That where she kisseth once, she quelleth twice;
Then whoso lives content is happy, wise.
What motion moveth this philosophy?
O Sylla, see the ocean ebbs and flows;
The spring-time wanes, when winter draweth nigh:
Ay, these are true and most assured notes.
Inconstant chance such tickle turns has lent.
As whoso fears no fall, must seek content.
FLACCUS. Whilst graver thoughts of honour should allure thee,
What maketh Sylla muse and mutter thus?
SYLLA. I, that have pass'd amidst the mighty troops
Of armed legions, through a world of war,
Do now bethink me, Flaccus, of my chance:
How I alone, where many men were slain,
In spite of fate am come to Rome again.
And though I wield the reverend stiles of state;
She, Sylla, with a beck could break thy neck.
What lord of Rome hath dar'd as much as I?
Yet, Flaccus, know'st thou not that I must die?
The labouring sisters on the weary looms
Have drawn my web of life at length, I know;
And men of wit must think upon their tombs:
For beasts with careless steps to Lethe go
Where men, whose thoughts and honours climb on high,
Living with fame, must learn with fame to die.
POMPEY. What lets, my lord, in governing this state,
To live in rest, and die with honour too?
SYLLA. What lets me, Pompey? why, my courteous friend,
Can he remain secure that wields a charge,
Or think of wit when flatterers do commend,
Or be advis'd that careless runs at large?
No, Pompey: honey words make foolish minds,
And pow'r the greatest wit with error blinds.
Flaccus, I murder'd Anthony, thy friend;
Romans, some here have lost at my command
Their fathers, mothers, brothers, and allies;
And think you, Sylla, thinking these misdeeds,
Bethinks not on your grudges and mislike?
Yes, countrymen, I bear them still in mind:
Then, Pompey, were I not a silly man
To leave my rule, and trust these Romans then?
POMPEY. Your grace hath small occasions of mistrust,
Nor seek these citizens for your disclaim.
SYLLA. But, Pompey, now these reaching plumes of pride,
That mounted up my fortunes to the clouds,
By grave conceits shall straight be laid aside,
And Sylla thinks of far more simple shrouds.
For having tried occasion in the throne,
I'll see if she dare frown, when state is gone.
Lo, senators, the man that sat aloft,
Now deigns to give inferiors highest place.
Lo, here the man whom Rome repined oft,
A private man content to brook disgrace.
Romans, lo, here the axes, rods, and all:
I'll master fortune, lest she make me thrall.
Now whoso list accuse me, tell my wrongs,
Upbraid me in the presence of this state.
Is none these jolly citizens among,
That will accuse, or say I am ingrate?
Then will I say, and boldly boast my chances,
That nought may force the man whom fate advances.
FLACCUS. What meaneth Sylla in this sullen mood,
To leave his titles on the sudden thus?
SYLLA. Consul, I mean with calm and quiet mind
To pass my days, till happy death I find.
POMPEY. What greater wrong than leave thy country so?
SYLLA. Both it and life must Sylla leave in time.
CITIZEN. Yet during life have care of Rome and us.
SYLLA. O wanton world, that flatter'st in thy prime,
And breathest balm and poison mixed in one!
See how these wavering Romans wish'd my reign,
That whilom fought and sought to have me slain. [_Aside_.]
My countrymen, this city wants no store
Of fathers, warriors, to supply my room;
So grant me peace, and I will die for Rome.
_Enter two Burglars to them_, POPPEY _and_ CURTALL.
CURTALL. These are very indiscreet counsels, neighbour Poppey,
and I will follow your misadvisement.
POPPEY. I tell you, goodman Curtall, the wench hath wrong. O vain
world, O foolish men! Could a man in nature cast a wench down, and
disdain in nature to lift her up again? Could he take away her
dishonesty without bouncing up the banns of matrimony? O learned
poet, well didst thou write fustian verse.
_These maids are daws
That go to the laws,
And a babe in the belly_.
CURTALL. Tut, man, 'tis the way the world must follow, for
_Maids must be kind,
Good husbands to find_.
POPPEY. But mark the fierse,
_If they swell before,
It will grieve them sore_.
But see, yond's Master Sylla: faith, a pretty fellow is a.
SYLLA. What seek my countrymen? what would my friends?
CURTALL. Nay, sir, your kind words shall not serve the turn: why, think
you to thrust your soldiers into our kindred with your courtesies, sir?
POPPEY. I tell you, Master Sylla, my neighbour will have the law: he had
the right, he will have the wrong; for therein dwells the law.
CONSUL. What desire these men of Rome?
CURTALL. Neighbour, sharpen the edge-tool of your wits upon the
whetstone of indiscretion, that your words may shine like the razors
of Palermo: [_to_ POPPEY] you have learning with ignorance,
therefore speak my tale.
POPPEY. Then, worshipful Master Sylla, be it known unto you,
That my neighbour's daughter Dority
Was a maid of restority;
Fair, fresh, and fine
As a merry cup of wine;
Her eyes like two potch'd eggs,
Great and goodly her legs;
But mark my doleful ditty,
Alas! for woe and pity!
A soldier of your's
Upon a bed of flowers
Gave her such a fall,
As she lost maidenhead and all.
And thus in very good time
I end my rudeful rhyme.
SYLLA. And what of this, my friend? why seek you me,
Who have resign'd my titles and my state,
To live a private life, as you do now?
Go move the Consul Flaccus in this cause,
Who now hath power to execute the laws.
CURTALL. And are you no more master dixcator, nor generality of the
SYLLA. My powers do cease, my titles are resign'd.
CURTALL. Have you signed your titles? O base mind, that being in the
Paul's steeple of honour, hast cast thyself into the sink of simplicity.
Were I a king, I would day by day
Suck up white bread and milk,
And go a-jetting in a jacket of silk;
My meat should be the curds,
My drink should be the whey,
And I would have a mincing lass to love me every day.
POPPEY. Nay, goodman Curtall, your discretions are very simple; let
me cramp him with a reason. Sirrah, whether is better good ale or
small-beer? Alas! see his simplicity that cannot answer me: why,
I say ale.
CURTALL. And so say I, neighbour.
POPPEY. Thou hast reason; ergo, say I, 'tis better be a king than
a clown. Faith, Master Sylla, I hope a man may now call ye knave by
SYLLA. With what impatience hear I these upbraids,
That whilom plagued the least offence with death.
O Sylla, these are stales of destiny
By some upbraids to try thy constancy.
My friends, these scorns of yours perhaps may move
The next dictator shun to yield his state,
For fear he find as much as Sylla doth.
But, Flaccus, to prevent their farther wrong,
Vouchsafe some lictor may attach the man,
And do them right that thus complain abuse.
FLACCUS. Sirrah, go you and bring the soldier,
That hath so loosely lean'd to lawless lust:
We will have means sufficient, be assured,
To cool his heat, and make the wanton chaste.
CURTALL. We thank your mastership. Come, neighbour, let us jog.
Faith, this news will set my daughter Dorothy agog.
[_Exeunt cum Lictore_.
SYLLA. Grave senators and Romans, now you see
The humble bent of Sylla's changed mind.
Now will I leave you, lords, from courtly train
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